HARVARD — With two newly elected members at the table — Stu Sklar and Leo Blair — the selectmen’s agenda didn’t look any shorter than usual when the board met Tuesday night.
But the meeting was uncharacteristically brief, wrapping in just over half an hour.
Bypassing public communication, since nobody came to speak, the first order of business was an update from Town Administrator Tim Bragan, who reported on work in progress and upcoming events. CPA
On Wednesday, May 15, the Community Preservation Committee will meet at Town Hall at 7:30. The featured agenda item will be a presentation by the assistant director of the Community Preservation Coalition on recent changes in the CPA, the status of the state’s CPA trust fund, pertinent legislation and other CPA news.
Communities whose voters have chosen to adopt CPA provisions agree to a tax surcharge to fund it, with matching funds from the state, the percentage of which has shrunk considerably since the law was enacted. As part of the act, the CPC oversees the funds, considers project applications and makes recommendations to Annual Town Meeting on which projects should be funded, based on criteria and categories set by law, including historic preservation, open space and recreation and affordable housing.
The meeting, which starts at 7:30, is open to the public and town boards that anticipate funding requests this year are encouraged to attend.
Four special legislation petitions approved by Town Meeting this year have been filed with the state legislature, with backing from Sen. James Eldridge and Rep. Jennifer Benson. The items are: Allowing retired local police officers over the age of 65 to work details; special local liquor licenses, procurements versus the minimum wage law and changing the membership makeup of the elderly taxation committee so that the Council on Aging Director, who is not a town resident, can serve on the committee.
Bromfield House and the old library are set to have septic hookups in June. No word yet on town water tie-ins, however.
Town Hall, which is slated for a major renovation beginning this summer, will be moving to an alternate location for the duration of the project. Bragan met with building staff recently to map out a moving plan. The date of the move is Aug. 1-7, he said.
The building will be open at its current site on Aug. 1 with movers set to arrive on Friday and the new, temporary location – the Appleworks Building on Ayer Road – open for business by the following Wednesday or Thursday.
Town offices will be housed in the far left of the building and will be identified by a sign. Website postings and notices in local newspapers will herald the change, Bragan said.
The Regional Dispatch Center in Devens is set to open on schedule, with the first two participating communities to set up shop there between June and July. Harvard will be the last to move in, in August, he said.
With the neighboring town of Boxoborough planning to have a discussion about casinos, the selectmen might need an input conduit, Chairman Lucy Wallace posited. Bragan agreed to contact his counterpart in the other town to find out about avenues for official input. Ginny Thurston Scholarship
In other business, the selectmen decided which members would review application essays for the Ginny Thurston Scholarship. Named for a former selectwoman who was active in a number of civic affairs, the scholarship is awarded to a graduating Bromfield senior who has demonstrated civic involvement.
With only one application so far, the school guidance counselor has extended the deadline to this Friday, May 10. The scholarship will be presented at an awards ceremony held on June 5, two days before The Bromfield School commencement.
Before adjourning, Chairman Lucy Wallace called for nominations to select new officers. Marie Sobalvarro was elected chair, Sklar as Vice Chair and Blair as Clerk. The votes were unanimous.